SteelSeries Shift Transforms Into Gamer's Perfect Keyboard

The SteelSeries Shift isn't just a high-quality gaming keyboard with programmable macros out the wazoo. Its real trick is accommodating specially-crafted keysets for games like WoW and Starcraft 2, transforming you into a wizard at any game you play.

The basic idea is that every game is different, so every game has a different optimal keyboard layout. SteelSeries works with game designers (and the gamers who kick arse at the games those designers design) to create officially licensed keysets that are tailored for each game.

The SteelSeries Shift is the successor to the ZBoard, an innovative but kinda cheap-feeling interchangeable-keyset keyboard from a company called Ideazon, which SteelSeries acquired in 2008. The Shift is far more solid, with high-quality silicone domes under the keys to keep them clicky for millions of keypresses, but it still works with old Zboard keysets for games like Aion, WoW, StarCraft 2, and more. New keysets will be coming soon for $US25 bucks a pop.

Of course if you want to do some customising yourself, the Shift will oblige: it can remember three layers of on-the-fly macros on the top row, which you can record onto the keyboard itself. In fact, every key on the Shift can be assigned not only a macro, but a sequence of keystrokes to do just about anything you want. It's a bit overwhelming. Add two USB 2.0 ports, dedicated media keys on the side, gold-plated audio out and mic in, and LED indicators and you've got yourself one mean peripheral. Coming soon for $US90. [SteelSeries]

Trending Stories Right Now